Sunday, May 19, 2013

MAC lipsticks via Hop Shop Go, and circle lens

MAC haul
(from, via Hop Shop Go. read about my last experience with Hop Shop Go here)

This post is a little overdue, but recently I had the urge to try out MAC lipsticks because of all the rave reviews over them. The only brands I've ever tried before are: Rimmel, Ulta and a Korean brand called Missha. These are all pretty inexpensive, ranging from $2 (Ulta lol) to about $12.

Keen to make my first foray into higher end makeup, I realised that actually elsewhere around the world, MAC isn't considered 'high end'. It only seemed the case because Australia grossly inflates the price of MAC products!

For these lipsticks, Australian beauty counters sell them for $36 a pop, whereas in the US you'll find them in Sephora for only $15. That's like x2.5 the price!

MAC USA doesn't ship to Australia obviously, so I decided to see if I could use Hop Shop Go to get the lipsticks for cheaper. I wanted to get the products at their usual $15 per piece shipped to the US (using my US address), and then get Hop Shop Go to ship it to my Australian address.

Would $15 (US price) + international shipping from the US to Australia, be less than $36 (Aus price)?
ie would buying MAC cosmetics in this roundabout way from overseas, be cheaper than directly purchasing it off the local counters?

Well it certainly was lol! I bought 4 MAC products from their US website:
1 x MAC Prep and Prime Lip primer ($16)
1 x MAC Rebel lipstick ($15)
1 x MAC Ruby Woo lipstick ($15)
1 x MAC Please Me lipstick ($15)

these 4 products were shipped with free US shipping to my address in Oregon, USA.

I also bought 11 things from Forever 21, of which most was my sister's stuff so I haven't shown it.
this Forever 21 package was also shipped with free US shipping to Oregon, USA.

So then to calculate the savings I made for a MAC lipstick using Hop Shop Go, it's not really accurate to take the total shipping I was charged and then divide it between the products because the Forever 21 package added extra weight and contributed to higher shipping fees in the end.

Nonetheless even if I included the Forever21 package, I still ended up making savings on the MAC products:

With the two packages, chargeable weight was 3kg, and the total amount paid to Hop Shop Go for shipping to Australia ($37.80), fuel ($5.04), and insurance costs ($1.91) = $44.75.
Taking into account the Forever 21 order as well, the MAC lipsticks incurred about 44.75/4 for shipping = $11.2. This makes each lipstick about $26.20 each!

And if I made a rough calculation of how much shipping would be on each lipstick if the lipsticks were the only things I purchased (using the HSG shipping calculator), then I would make even more savings:

The Forever21 order was about 2kg, and the MAC order was 1kg (yes it was only 4 cosmetic items...but it came in a box and they rounded the weight upwards). The Hop Shop Go shipping calculator estimates 1kg to be about $28 for shipping minus the fuel and insurance costs, which we'll say is about $4.50 =  $32.50.
so then taking into account only the MAC haul, the MAC lipsticks would incur about 32.50/4 for shipping = $8.10. That makes each lipstick about $23.10 each!

So with either calculation, I still made savings of $10-$13 on each lipstick which is being sold over the local counters for $36. Although it's not an amazingly high saving, I still think it's worth it if you're planning on buying 3 or more products. I bought 4 and altogether that saved me $40-$52.

The savings would be even greater if Hop Shop Go had cheaper shipping fees or lowered their insurance and fuel costs though. On my blog I've only ever talked about HSG but I've been meaning to try out another service I've heard of called FastShip2U. I'm planning to do another overseas haul with them soon so I can compare :)

(oh and don't go too crazy on using HSG to save yourself money on overpriced cosmetics, here is a list of prohibited items! Includes aerosols (eg hairsprays), flammable products (eg nail polish))

now on to reviewing the actual products!

Since a lot of people might be worried about how cosmetics are packaged and handled from overseas, I took a picture of the packaging of the lipsticks. It came in a box, which was about tissue box-sized. Underneath a bunch of black tissue paper, there were the 4 cosmetic items. There was no bubble wrap but it's alright since the lipsticks were individually boxed and weren't like glass nail polish bottles or anything, and honestly the cardboard box itself is enough to protect the whole package during transit. I'd be more worried about nail polish bottles and eyeshadow palettes if it didn't have this minimum level of packaging!

(L to R) MAC Rebel lipstick, MAC Please Me lipstick, MAC Ruby Woo lipstick, MAC Prep and Prime Lip primer

MAC- Prep and Prime (the product on the far right)
Price: $16USD (without HSG fees + shipping costs)

I applied MAC's Prep and Prime beforehand in all the pictures below, for each lipstick.

This product filled in lip wrinkles quite nicely, and when I put the lipsticks over it the application was really smooth. It prevents lip feathering (when the lipstick runs into the creases around your lips over time) so that nice and sharp outline around your lips remains intact.

It also claims to be moisturising, which I discovered was the case! I wore this (underneath Rebel) for about 3 hours the other night and when I pressed my lips together it didn't feel dry. 

MAC- Rebel
Price: $15USD (without HSG fees + shipping costs)

MAC's Rebel is on the right.(Rimmel's 04 lipstick is on the left, which I review in this post as well!)

I really didn't expect the colour to come out like this. As you can see in the tube (the lipstick on the right), it appears to be quite a cool-toned, purple/red colour, but on the lips it's much lighter, more pink and bright! I guess it's still a nice colour though, and I'm glad I got it even though it wasn't expected. It ended up being quite flattering on my pale skin tone! :) It's quite a glamorous, bold berry-red lip colour that speaks for itself and requires minimal makeup. Rebel also has a lovely satin finish.

As I mentioned, I applied MAC's Prep and Prime before each lipstick application. Rebel glided on quite smoothly on my lips after that. However in my experience the ones that go on really smoothly can also get quite messy...too easy to end up with clown lips with this one!

Looking at other pictures on the internet of people wearing MAC's Rebel, I suspect applying MAC's Prep and Prime beforehand has made the lipstick a little brighter and lighter on myself. As eye shadow primers make eyeshadow colours 'pop' a little more, my guess is that a lip primer would do the same for lipsticks! I would have to try it without the Prep and Prime to see if the colour remains the same!

read more under the link!

MAC- Ruby Woo
Price: $15USD (without HSG fees + shipping costs)

All the rave reviews for MAC's Ruby Woo were probably why I started becoming interested in MAC lipsticks in the first place! I've heard it being described as the perfect, retro look red lipstick, so I was super eager to try it out. Plus it's matte which gives it that classier look.

According to MAC, this is a vivid blue-red which is great as I love cool-toned products for my complexion, but I still find it a tad orange-y for me (which is so wrong for my skintone!) I think this would really be the perfect red if it was just a little darker. Maybe MAC's Russian Red would've been better?

Anyway it's still a wonderful colour and really does embody that fun, retro appeal. As I mentioned, it's matte which means it can be more drying and you will have to apply lip balm beforehand. It goes on kind of waxy (probably even more so because I had the Prep and Prime underneath).

MAC- Please Me
Price: $15USD (without HSG fees + shipping costs)

This is such a great everyday lipstick! The colour is a light-medium pink that is so perfect for adding a nice, healthy colour to your lips for any environment. This one has a matte, creamy finish so can be a bit drying as well.

And since the colour's quite light, you can apply it really quickly without the need for lipliner (although I still used one for these pictures).

I put in more pictures for this than any other lipstick in this blog post, so you know I love it! :)

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick 04
Price: $11.95 -> $7.17AUD

I bought this on a whim during Priceline (Australia's answer to Sephora, Boots, etc) when they had a 40% off on cosmetics. It seemed like a pretty good bargain to me at around $7 until I went home and found that it costs $2.59 (at full price!!) on Ulta's website, and I get reminded again of how stupidly overpriced everything is for Australia.

Anyway, I bought this because the colour looked really dark purple in the tube and I wanted to find a vampy colour. The application wasn't as smooth and pigmented on the first instance, as the Mac ones. However after taking a bit of time to get all the vibrancy of the colour out, it's a really beautiful cool-toned, dark purple shade. This is a true purple, vampy kind of colour that I find more flattering with my pale skin and black hair. So glad I picked this bargain up!

Circle lenses from
L-R: Magic 3-tone grey, Princess Mimi grey

These are the circle lenses I recently bought! I was wearing "3-tone grey" for the pictures for Rimmel's 04 lipstick  (the vampy one!) I don't think they suited me very much so that was the only time I wore them lol.


  1. MAC is also much pricier here in SA and considered a high end brand. These are such great shades, the Rebel and Please me lippies look stunning on you.

  2. Aww I like all the colors! :)

    Giveaway on my blog <3 SHE WALKS Blog

  3. I love the Please Me on you Izzi! So cool! Such a big haul dear! Love it :)
    Happy weekend!

    ★♡ New Fashion Post (^_^) ♡★ Brings Chevron Prints Back with Shopping Discounts

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  4. You can rock any lip colour!! :)
    And the circle lens you're wearing look nice! ^^

  5. Ah, I love MAC lipsticks so much, though I've never applied one.
    I live in Aus and the prices are just so horrible so I never buy them... ;(

  6. Lovely lippies! I really like the pale pink "please me" one, such a beautiful shade :)

    Away From Blue

  7. Dont you just hate the cost of Mac and the likes in oz and NZ? Probably the reason why I dont use it haha. I think you suit all the lipsticks xx

  8. So pretty! Love the 1st and last one. :)
    Enjoy the weekend.
    Hugs from TOronto
    Claudia P.

  9. I thought that was your natural lip colour at first for Please Me! It looks really healthy and pretty on you :)
    I think I might as well buy MAC cosmetics your way now, because I have such a large lipstick collection and it's a shame I only have ONE MAC lipstick which I looted from Fashion Weekend years ago. And it's not really a wearable brown coloured lipstick haha!

  10. Good accounting skills... :) ... I love the first one on you and the third makes you look so sweet.

  11. Please Me is super gorgeous on you x

  12. I usually don't splurge on lipsticks because there are so many options at the drugstore. I can't believe I never purchased a mac though. If I do, I'd definitely try rebel. Love seeing swatches of lipstick<3

  13. What a great haul from MAC! Love how their lipstick seems like top quality :)

    Trendy Teal

  14. I've been going to HK so much lately that I'm not moonlighting as a beauty buyer and I can definitely relate to the prices! My friends are always going on and on about how expensive MAC is over here. There's about #20 something over there! I once helped a friend buy her MAC foundation over there and she saved about $20 from memory!

    Rebel looks the best on you! Actually none of the colours look drying on you at all! I've always wanted my own MAC lipstick but every one that I've tried turns out to be drying - matte or not matte!

  15. Wow all the MAC lippies look great on you! I just bought myself RiRi Woo (part of the new Rihanna x MAC collection) and that's meant to be super similar to Ruby Woo. Rebel has been on my wishlist for a while now and this just reminded me!
    The prices for cosmetics in Australia are ridiculous! I usually get most of my MAC make up from HK because its halfway between the prices in the US and here.

    à la foliee

  16. Nice MAC haul! You seems to always find good
    deals/bargains online :o I really want to
    have a nice red lipstick.
    I can't wait to see your F21 haul as well!

  17. Great review! I live in America so I can get MAC for cheaper, but i always feel reluctant when buying makeup because it seems so expensive to me, but it seems ridiculous in Australia! I've been looking for a good purple color, so I may try that Rimmel one you reviewed. Thanks!

  18. gosh, you look gorgeous in every colour. I always have to pay attention with going too red/dark because my lips will become so small.

    *MlleWanderlust *

  19. Gorgeous choices!! Love them all, great selections from daytime to night. I need a good matte red so will check out Ruby Woo. I only own 1 MAC lipstick and I love it!

  20. i own both rebel and please me from mac and think they are great staples for the daring/winter look and everyday, respectively.
    Great choices, they suit you well!

  21. These lipsticks look amazingg!!
    And oh man. I shouldn't have read about Hop Shop Go I feel the urge to buy a bunch of stuff online again ..especially Forever 21!!! Damn Australia and it's lack of awesome stores :(

  22. love the please me and the rimmel shades on you! great purchases

  23. Great posts on the products you buy! I'm always trying to calculate wear I can get things cheaper and shipping can be such a pain. Love the lipstick! I still haven't found the right color for myself but would love to wear more often.


  24. The Ruby Woo looks amazing on you even if it is matte and drying. I think the color is one that can be worn for everyday. The Please Me wine color is fun and can be used for my vampy outfits. I love those kinds of colors, but don't pull them off well, I don't think. LOL. And I'm glad you saved money over all! That's so funny your US address is in Oregon! :) <3


  25. These colors all look gorgeous on you!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  26. Those lipsticks are great colors, and look beautiful on you!

  27. Hey babe, the please me lipstick is totally made for you! The colour is just perfectly beautiful on you! Love how the rimmel turns out too, shows a darker side of you.

    Fang Ting

  28. beautiful lipsticks, we actually really love that purple one on you!


  29. You chose gorgeous colors!! And they really suit you too. I like that you were willing to figure out a way to save some money, I do that all the time.:) But I haven't heard of HSG, I have to check to see if that would work for my country too! And that prep+prime product was also news for me - I think I need it!!:)

  30. I saw you at Strathfield Station going to work on Monday morning! Was too shy to say hello haha. You looked very office-like :)

    1. oh really? haha you should've, I would've loved to say hi back! :) and yeah, my work attire is very different to my outfit posts here :)

  31. hey we like your blog! so lets follow each other :) we starts and follow you on gfc and bloglovin! please do the same! hugs, the twins from

  32. Amazing lipsticks!Yoy look verry pretty!
    Thank you for the nice comment on my blog!

  33. "Rebel" did not turn out like the actual lipstick colour at all o_o I still really like it though! I also really like "Please Me". It's a really pretty shade of pink that can be worn very casually, every day. Rube Woo is gorgeous too haha- loved your purchases!
    And I'm looking forward to your FastShip2u post too :)

  34. I wish I had nicer smile I try not to wear lipstick because it brings attention there. It looks great on you

  35. You look so good in bright lip colors! I think red looks good on you too ;)

  36. The dark purple looks amazing on you - you rock it girl!

    Great post :)

    Yinyin xx


  37. amazing! xxxxx

  38. I really like dark lipstick on you! Did you ever get "fitted" for contact lenses or can you just buy them anywhere (is it one size fits all?) Because they are so cheap from that site and I am so tempted...

  39. i loveee rimmel's 04 lippie i own it aswell hehe and its sucha nice dark purple i feel so gothic in it though. i also own MACS rebel and yours did come out quite light mine usually comes out more of a plummy red.
    Your HopShopGo option of cheaper shipping is pretty smart haha but i think its too complex for me >__< my mums friend is heading over to the US soon and i think i'll make a list of things she can pick up for me via the MAC counter in USA its definitely ridiculous how costly the MAC products are here in comparison to the USA price i remember goin to USA and MAC and Ralph Lauren over there arent considered high end at all.. its all dirt cheap lolol bought so much gahh and i miss F21 >=[

  40. Jeeze, American products overseas are so expensive! What the heck. I swear, if I ever travel abroad where the premium is high, I'll bring a crapload of Levis and MAC products and just sell it to pay for all of my expenses haha. Please Me is such a nice color on you! I'm in love with bright pinks for spring/summer.

  41. I bought the Rimmel 04 which arrived today, can't wait to start wearing it properly, it looks amazing on you. I tried it on for a short while this evening as I was lounging around, hahaha I gave the boys quite a fright!

  42. Pretty Nice post, thanks for sharing it here!

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